Inuyama Castle [犬山城]

Inuyama Castle
Inuyama Castle

Castle tower of Inuyama Castle
Castle tower of Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle ("Inuyamajô" in Japanese) is a castle in Inuyama city located about 25 km north of Nagoya city.

The castle is on a hill 88 meters high, and Kiso River flows at the north foot of this hill.
The hill is to the north of the town and about 1.3 km northwest of Inuyama station of Meitetsu Railway.

In 1469, a fort was built.
And the castle was constructed in the site in 1537.

Until the early 17th century, the lord of the castle often changed.
But Naruse Family had been the lord of the castle in 1617, and they kept the castle for over 250 years.

After the end of feudal Edo Period (1603-1868), this castle was abandoned.
But fortunately, the castle tower was preserved.

This castle tower is one of only 12 existing original castles in Japan.
So this castle was designated as a national treasure in 1935.

Surprisingly, the descendants of Naruse Family had owned this castle privately until 2004.
To preserve this castle, they established a corporation, then it has existed until now.

Kiso River from Inuyama Castle
Kiso River from Inuyama Castle

Inuyama city from Inuyama Castle
Inuyama city from Inuyama Castle

The castle has four stories, and they have wood floors.
The visitors can enter the castle.

We can see the original inside.
Of course, the buildings has no elevator and the wooden stairs are very steep.

The highest floor has an observatory.

On the both edges of the roof, a pair of "Shachihoko" are set up.
Shachihoko is an imaginary being that it is like a fish with a tiger face and many prickles on its back and its tail points always to the heaven.

In July 2017, lightning struck a 1.3-meter Shichihoko and it was fallen and broken.
The new Shachihoko was made and set up in February 2018.

Sankô Inari Shrine (三光稲荷神社)

Garden around the entrance of Kiyosu Castle
Photo by Aichi Prefectural Tourism Association

Nobunaga Oda
Photo by Aichi Prefectural Tourism Association

Sanko Inari Shrine is a Shinto shrine.
It is located at the foot of the hill of the castle and near the entrance of the approach to the castle.

Originally, this shrine was in the other mountain in Inuyama and was moved to current place in 1964.
It is said that the shrine had been a guardian of Naruse Family.

Garden around the entrance of Kiyosu Castle
Photo by Aichi Prefectural Tourism Association

Nobunaga Oda
Photo by Aichi Prefectural Tourism Association

This shrine is known as a god of match-making.

From 2012, this shrine issued pink heart-shaped Ema (votive horse tablets).
Since that, young girls and couples to dedicate the Ema for succeeding in love have been increasing.

In addition, because this is Inari Shrine, there is a tunnel of red Torii gates and here became popular.

Honmachi street (本町通り)

Honmachi street
Photo by Inuyama City Tourist Association

Rickshaw in Honmachi street
Photo by Inuyama City Tourist Association

The street from the entrance of the approach to the castle to the south is called Honmachi-dôri in Japanese.

The length is about 600 meters, and it had been the main street as the castle town.
The south end of the street is located about 500 meters west of Inuyama station.

Along the street, there are many old houses and cafe, restaurants and shops are in the houses.

Dango in Honmachi street

Colorful dango in Honmachi street

Especially, each shops create unique goods and sweets, and this street has become popular.

Kiso River Ukai (木曽川鵜飼)

Kiso River Ukai
Photo by Inuyama City Tourist Association

Kiso River Ukai
Photo by Inuyama City Tourist Association

Ukai is an old fishing method to catch the river fishes using cormorants.
Nagara River Ukai in Gifu city is the most famous, but it has also been done in Kiso River since the 8th century.

In Inuyama, it is the first time that the lord of Inuyama Castle ordered to do Ukai for him in the 1660s.

The performance is seen as a show on the boat.

It is performed from June to the middle of October.
It takes about 1.5 hours in common evening tour.
And it takes about 2.5 hours in the tours with meals (both evening and daytime).

The boarding point is about 0.8 km northeast of Inuyama Castle, and near Inuyama-Yuen station of Meitetsu Railway (next station of Inuyama).

How to get here

By limited express of Meitetsu Railway, get off at Inuyama station.
About 27 to 35 minutes from Meitetsu-Nagoya station.
About 15 minutes walk from there.

Hotels in Inuyama city

Hotels in Inuyama city

Other Tourist Attractions in Aichi Prefecture

Nagoya Kiyosu Castle Urakuen garden Museum Meiji-mura Toyota Automobile Museum Seto city Tokoname city Okazaki Castle Toyokawa Inari temple Horaiji temple

Return to Aichi Prefecture Return to Tokai Region

Other prefectures in Tokai Region